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Paul Jenkin

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Posts posted by Paul Jenkin

  1. 4 minutes ago, yesbut said:

    Do these people actually exist ?

    Yes, there are a number of them. Most the the 'nationwide' rental schemes are based on finding other beekeepers who will work under contract essentially. Some will take a minimal percentage, and give good support and marketing, others want a lot more, and give very little. I'd suggest a franchise type system might be a better option if it was done right...

    • Agree 4
  2. I have multiple hive tools that I've collected over the years. There are usually 3 or 4 in the truck at a time, and I'll use one for each apiary. When I run out, I use them to scrape the propolis off each other, and then clean down with meths on a rag.

    I'm not a fan of the flaming method as I think it probably messes with the tempering of the steel, but if I find AFB it will definitely get torched quickly with a propane torch.

    • Like 1
  3. Hi all, I'm new on here so hello to all! I'm researching around for people or companies who do extraction in the Hawkes Bay / Manawatu areas, any ideas? Thanks for your time and help!


    Downunder Honey near Cheltenham should be able to do it for you.

    I'll PM you Jason's details.

  4. I watched a You tube clip about a commercial Beekeeper & he used the woven plastic bags the chook food comes in. He cuts it up & it lasts ages. The bees don`t stick it down either. Does it matter there is no "Bee Space"


    There is a reason they're called hive 'mats' - hessian sacking/matting and other alternatives were pretty common before the modern hive mat came into fashion. I don't think bee space at the top makes a huge difference to bee movement, but it may help stop them from sticking it down with propolis.

  5. Hi thanks for your replies. Lid making is going well. I have a hive mat question now. Is the hardboard you can buy from mitre 10 Mega ok to use? I saw on here somewhere someone said to make sure the hardboard is oil tempered. I guess I could ask mitre 10 but sometimes those guys don't know much!

    Bit late on this one, but I believe Placemakers in Chch sell tempered hardboard which is smooth both sides. You should get 15 out of each 2400 x 1200mm sheet

  6. I just spoke to Julie at Ecrotek, and they're out of Mahurangi frames.

    Kate at Waireka Honey also got Alliance frames on her last order from Ecrotek instead of the Mahurangi she ordered.

    @Sailabee understands that Mahurangi have been bought by Ceracell.


    @Alastair - good points, I think it's still a good idea to replace them as the cells get smaller over time, and more and more unusable areas. So far I've only ever had to ditch the odd broken one, but some are looking like they need to go this season although I think they are probably closer to 10 years old.

    Plastic frames I think are a lot easier to clean up and reuse, a scrape and (hot?) waterblast and they're pretty much ready to go I'd imagine.


    @Shaun - once you've put them through the steamer, how much effort is required to clean out the groove, and do you need to rewire them at all?


    @Jerm - I remember you mentioning all those duds. Last season I only had to recut the gbb on a couple of hundred as they'd been done with a thin kerf blade instead of full kerf...

  7. I have bought both from Ecrotek last season and will now buy Mahurangi frames only if available. They are both distinctively different in shape and quality. Alliance frames tend to split more easily when stapling, also the side bars feel thinner. But the holes for the wires were drilled more accurately in the centre of the bars. Mahurangi timber is of better quality, the pieces fit together better and the bottom bars don't shatter to pieces when stapling. In one batch I had to re-drill quite a few frames as the holes were way out. I told Paul at Ectrotek about it and the last batch I bought were much better.

    The price difference is only 10c between the frames and IMHO money well spent! It's only $100 more with a lot less headache!


    Thanks everyone.

    The reason I only expect to use them for 5 years or so isn't that they won't last, rather that we should be replacing them due to chemical build up - not an issue up until varroa arrived. I haven't found a time effective method of cleaning the frame and replacing the foundation - it's more cost effective to just burn it and start again imho.


    I got a price of $1.60 incl for the Mahurangi frames. Admittedly that is from Waireka Honey, but Kate usually goes on the Ecrotek pricing.

    Standard frames were around $1.25ish


    Good to know that the premiums really are better though Pbee. Thanks.

  8. Hey guys,


    Looking at ordering 1000 wooden FD frames, and wondering what the diff is between the two that Ecrotek stocks (apart from the price difference of about 60c a frame).


    One is listed as a Premium frame (Mahurangi), and the other appears to be a standard frame, probably Alliance.


    Has anyone compared the two? Pricewise there is a lot between them.

    I don't expect wooden frames to last forever, in fact they usually end up as kindling after 5 or so years. They're only expected to be used for brood boxes.



  9. So do you just run with the gap at that end and not space the frames wider? If the gap is left at that end would they not fill it with drone comb?


    If it's in a brood box, I jam them all together with an even space at either end. Sometimes get a bit of burr comb on the walls at either end (easily removed), or a fat honey frame. Over the next couple of years that gap disappears as they propolise the shoulders of all the frames, before long you struggle to get ten frames in.


    If it's in a honey super, I only run 8 or 9 frames evenly spaced.

  10. Just wondering who is going to conference this year, and whether it's worth organising a meet-up of some kind one evening?


    Also, if anyone else is as stingy as me, I have a spare bunk bed in a cabin you can have for $25 a night (or $35 if you want the bottom one!) :D (6 kms from Rotorua). I may snore just a little though...

  11. Had an interesting conversation with my neighbour (dairy farmer) about this yesterday. He's trying to get clover back into his paddocks, but for him, it's a fine line between the paddock rotation being long enough for the clover to seed, and the milk production levels. He's happy to have my 8 home hives at this end of his farm to help with pollination though :)

    I think he's more 'organic' than some of the other farmers around here, although in general the area is smaller family owned farms, so there seems to be more sustainable practices going on than the often 'just dump x ton on every x days' I see other places.


    I've got one of our two paddocks closed up for another week or two to try and get the clover to seed. It's pretty close now, I think I topped it three and a half weeks ago. As long as the weather holds and we keep getting some rain, I'm hoping to be able to be able to give the other one the same treatment once I move the sheep across.

    • Like 2
  12. I put about 400kg through a hand cranked 3 frame SS Lega last season. I wouldn't want to do much more than that though.

    The big advantage of the 3 frame over the 4 is that it's a lot smaller for the 360 days of the year it's in storage.


    I lifted it a bit higher so I can fit a 20l bucket with filter under it, and just run it with the tap open all the time (it doesn't have a tank on it). I change out the bucket when the filter fills up. If I use the heat gun uncapping method with boxes that have just come off the hive (warm) three filters and buckets (fabric type paint strainers) can keep up with me.

  13. Hey what sort of procedures /management systems do people have in place regarding tracking gear, as a beginner you can have frames and gear lying around that you have lost track of in terms of which hive they were in etc and then if you get AFB what do you do burn all that gear that you are unsure of? I have read sodium hypochlorite can be used but is this reliable?


    All hives get an identifying code of some sort - usually just written on with a vivid, and topped up if it starts to fade. Any honey supers are marked with the same code and care is taken to get the same frames back into those boxes after extracting (easy when you are doing it yourself). I store top feeders etc on the hive when not in use (saves on storage space too).


    The next season I try to at least get supers back to the same apiary, if not the exact hive.


    The one AFB I have had, I burnt the stored supers, just in case. To me their value was significantly lower than that of the rest of the apiary on the offchance it had AFB before I removed them. I know I got them off late, so the hive may have already robbed out the AFB hive before then.

    • Like 1
  14. Its good to support the new guys as the old guard have had a good crack. I really like their hive mats so much better than the hard board insert type.

    And he who makes the boxes was impressed by the quality of the timber :)


    What is different about the hive mats?

  15. In this case the hive was not robbed out, so no one gets to find about location or even distance.

    Is it not possible ( especially at this time of year) that this hive was robbed last autumn and a swarm moved in 6/8 weeks ago?

    Yes it's got AFB but no problem it's not been robbed.

    So we will burn it and that's the end of the problem!

    The system needs to change.


    My issue with them not letting anyone know is that the source of that hives AFB may never be pinned down.

    Further back, a less vigilant beekeeper has a hive robbed out, and puts it's death down to robbing. Next season they repopulate it, and someone elses hive(s) gets AFB from it when it gets robbed out again, and the cycle continues.


    I had one a few weeks back that I found and burnt. I let people know the rough area of where it was. It hadn't been robbed out, but I'm guessing it robbed something else out in autumn. I talked to another beekeeper at the last club meeting who had a hive within half a km who also had AFB in their strongest hive. Somewhere around there is a source of AFB - a robbed out hive that hasn't been identified as having AFB. I would hope that by letting everyone in the area know about it, they would be more vigilant, and maybe the source can be identified before too many more hives have to be burnt.

    • Like 3
  16. And wax foundation, there is a limited supply and at the moment it is like gold. I just scored a carton, didn't really need it, but grabbed it because I don't know when it will be available again. So with people like me stock piling it, it just makes the situation worse.


    Yup, I did the same. May have enough for this season, but didn't want to risk running out so bought some more since the local supplier had it in stock.


    I was late getting my order in for hiveware, and was lucky to get what I needed for splits (wood and wax frames), but am still waiting on frames and plastic foundation for honey supers, due sometime this month hopefully.


    I had originally tried to get a price out of Ceracell - put an 'order' through on their site, with a query about freight cost as their system couldn't work it out (it said I'd be contacted with a freight price). Waited a week. Emailed them. Waited another week. Bought most stuff locally. Put another order through for 3/4 plastic foundation which as far as I can tell only they sell, put in notes to cancel previous order. Paid by CC. Get a call to say it's not in stock, oh and you haven't paid for your other order...

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